Columbus Day


Columbus Day will be celebrated tomorrow. It’s always celebrated in the U.S. on the second Monday in October and is about the discovery of the American continent by Christopher Columbus in 1492 looking for a shortcut to India or China (remember the rhyme from grade school: “In 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue.”) Italian people in New York initiated celebrations in remembrance of their famous compatriot in 1866.

Although Columbus has long been considered the discoverer of American, today we know that is not true. Long before Columbus, people crossed the northern Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean and obviously had to land on the American continent. Leif Eriksson is now considered the most likely discoverer of the American continent.

Ironically, Columbus never thought of himself as the discoverer of America. He was sure he had only discovered a new seaway to “las Indias,” the countries behind India (now called China). Because many Americans see no reason in being proud of the colonization of America and the exploitation of the native people by their ancestors, this holiday has been abolished in some places or renamed Indigenous People Day.  (me and

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